Police launch Christmas crackdown on drink and drug driving
THE devastating consequences of drink driving will be highlighted as part of a countywide campaign, which is being launched this week.
The festive crackdown, which aims to educate drivers about the dangers of drinking and taking drugs before driving, will see police carrying out high profile checks at key locations across Lancashire throughout December.
This years’ campaign will be launched at 11am on Thursday 1 December outside Blackburn Cathedral where police will be joined by Lancashire County Council’s Wasted Lives team along with other emergency service colleagues. A car from a fatal road traffic collision, in which an 18-year-old man died the morning after drinking alcohol, will be on display to show the devastating impact it can have.
Matthew Alston was killed on the morning of Saturday 14 August 2010 in Read near Burnley. Matthew had been out in Burnley on the Friday night and had got a taxi home but was still over the drink drive limit the morning after. Matthew’s story is a devastating reminder that people can still be over the drink drive limit the morning after. One unit of alcohol takes approximately one hour to leave the body, so a night out could leave somebody with alcohol in their body for more than 24 hours.
This year the crackdown will also see officers using saliva testing kits alongside the standard breath tests meaning motorists will not only be tested for the alcohol but also for cannabis and cocaine. Modelled on drink-driving tests, the legislation, which was introduced on 2 March 2015, makes it an offence for motorists to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in their blood.
Inspector Andy Trotter from the Constabulary’s Road Policing Unit said: “This year a main focus of our activity will be on late night revellers who may still be over the limit the morning after and we will be using a crashed car which was involved in a fatal road traffic collision to highlight the devastating consequences of drink or drug driving.
“If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road traffic collision than a driver who hasn’t been drinking, potentially resulting in serious injury or death. A conviction could also mean that you lose your job, home, family and friends. The consequences can be absolutely devastating.
“Once again we will be using drug-testing kits alongside standard kits for alcohol, which means we are better equipped than ever to identify those who take this very dangerous risk.
“We are determined to keep our roads safe, whether that is at night or the morning after and we will be working throughout the festive period to keep the public safe. We want people to enjoy the festive season but to remember the consequences of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“If you’re out partying this Christmas then please plan ahead and book a taxi, check public transport times or don’t drink. If you know of someone who is driving under the influence of drink or drugs then please do the right thing and call the police before they kill themselves or somebody else.”
Last year, a total of 3065 drink drive tests were carried out across the county in December with 118 people failing the test and four refusing to provide a specimen – resulting in a failure rate of almost four per cent
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